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Thread: The mounds - 3/5

  1. #16
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    So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?

    Thanks
    Matt

  2. #17
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post

    What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?
    People have been shooting at the mounds in the winter and early in the day which nobody has never done before, for what reason I am not sure. For the ideal light is summer and right before sundown. Now you can argue the light all you want but now the school seems to not want spotters there. Which they really don't have a say. So at some point someone will have to take a stand or go talk to the school because these encounters will only continue.

    So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?
    Transceivers (pilot radios) can not monitor police so they are fine in NY. Haven't researched the federal law but I will be willing to bet they are fine as well.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    People have been shooting at the mounds in the winter and early in the day which nobody has never done before, for what reason I am not sure. For the ideal light is summer and right before sundown.
    I went to the mounds in the morning since I had forgotten about N. Woodmere Park. Now that I have had this experience and have found that I can get good shots from Woodmere Park, I definitely won't be hitting up the mounds in the morning hours when on the 22s. From now on its either Bayswater (if open) for departures or Woodmere Park for arrivals for me in the mornings.
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  4. #19
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattdueck View Post
    So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?

    Thanks
    Matt
    "Scanners" in general are ONLY ILLEGAL if used in commission of a crime. At least NY State Code. Federal Govt. leaves this to the states. It has not been tested in Federal court as far as I know and the only ruling body are FCC regulations none of which deal with criminal possession of a scanner and deal mostly with emissions and interference etc. for manufacturers (and if you make your own)

    The one thing that IS a federal crime is listening to Cellular Telephone Calls of ANY kind on ANY device at ANY time.
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  5. #20
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?
    All,

    Let us not forget that each and every day, someone is doing something for their very first time!! First time on a computer, first time behind the wheel, first time on duty on the beat (PO), first time a rookie officer encounters spotters, first time a seasoned officer encounters spotters, first time on The World Wide Web, etc.

    William, am in the same camp... I first become very friendly, smile, approach them first, act confident, hide nothing, cards out, chat, etc. Always with the diffuse button on high. All while feeling out the situation and judging if I am going to be welcome or escorted... as I feel the tension in one direction it will guide my legs in the direction of my car or back to spotting.

    Always point out that you are not doing anything wrong and are actually openly displaying what I am doing in the open for everyone to see and being covert about any of my activities.

    SMILE SMILE SMILE and be friendly, chatty and polite! Be engaging, and speak with conviction that what you are doing is NOT WRONG even if you are asked to leave. Leave with politeness and also with a position of strength by reminding the officer that what you are doing is not wrong. But only if you feel the situation is diffuse enough to do so. If the officers are really upset, leave quickly and say "Have A Good Day Officer"... use words like Yes Sir, Yes Officer, Yes Ma'am, etc.

    Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.

    I also try to end all the encounters with a strong thank you. Especially if it goes well.
    Last edited by gonzalu; 03-07-2011 at 11:04 PM.
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  6. #21
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    All,

    Let us not forget that each and every day, someone is doing something for their very first time!! First time on a computer, first time behind the wheel, first time on duty on the beat (PO), first time a rookie officer encounters spotters, first time a seasoned officer encounters spotters, first time on The World Wide Web, etc.

    William, am in the same camp... I first become very friendly, smile, approach them first, act confident, hide nothing, cards out, chat, etc. Always with the diffuse button on high. All while feeling out the situation and judging if I am going to be welcome or escorted... as I feel the tension in one direction it will guide my legs in the direction of my car or back to spotting.

    Always point out that you are not doing anything wrong and are actually openly displaying what I am doing in the open for everyone to see and being covert about any of my activities.

    SMILE SMILE SMILE and be friendly, chatty and polite! Be engaging, and speak with conviction that what you are doing is NOT WRONG even if you are asked to leave. Leave with politeness and also with a position of strength by reminding the officer that what you are doing is not wrong. But only if you feel the situation is diffuse enough to do so. If the officers are really upset, leave quickly and say "Have A Good Day Officer"... use words like Yes Sir, Yes Officer, Yes Ma'am, etc.

    Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.

    I also try to end all the encounters with a strong thank you. Especially if it goes well.
    Best post of the year so far.
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  7. #22
    Senior Member Derf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    The law is very antiquated and vague in NY. As the law reads you can't have a scanner installed in any vehicle capable of monitoring police frequencies. So hand held should be ok and if your outside your car you should be within the law.
    Kind of Nick.... That means you can not have a Ham Radio installed in you car, Handheld is within your right... The hand held unit can not be capable of transmission on Police, Fire, or ambulance frequencies unless your Aries Races or for specifically allowed official reasons.

    This law was put in place to cut down the amount of people running to an accident or fire. It is not illegal to listen if it is removable from your car and still functional. You can have a mount for it and an external antenna, as long as you do not put a car type radio under your stock radio.


    The law as you wrote it does not exist. Your version makes it sound like my little 2 meter Ham radio in my car plugged into a cigerette lighter and using an external antenna with a magnet on my trunk is illegal, It is Only illegal if someone key's up on Police freq's.
    The three most common expressions in aviation are, "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" and "Oh Crap".

  8. #23
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derf View Post
    Kind of Nick.... That means you can not have a Ham Radio installed in you car.
    Fred, I am a HAM ( N2MAV ) and have every right to have a HAM Radio installed in my car :-) ... never heard of NY State making it illegal. Just look at my plates for proof. Imagine the contradiction if they sold Amateur Radio Plates but you were not allowed to use a ham radio in your car?
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  9. #24
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    Best post of the year so far.
    Thanks Phil! This hobby does more for my stress than any prescription drug. Without it, I would be a wreck! hahahaha.
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  10. #25
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Here is the applicable VTL that covers radio scanners and vehicles...
    397. Equipping motor vehicles with radio receiving sets capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use.
    A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or Board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city or village in a county having a county police department by the Board of Supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

    Nothing in this Section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid Amateur Radio Operator`s License issued by the Federal Communications Commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the Federal Communications Commission to duly licensed radio amateurs.
    The key words of the first paragraph are "equip a motor vehicle" and "capable of receiving signals". In a 1974 court case, it was decided that a defendant who had a radio receiver in his vehicle capable of receiving police frequencies when the radio was plugged into cigarette lighter socket, the receiver was "capable" of receiving signals even though receiver was not plugged in when defendant was stopped by police. So your portable scanner, if it can pick up police frequencies (which most of them can) can be deemed illegal to use in your car. I usually keep mine in my bag in the trunk when I'm not out spotting. And the reason they are illegal to use isn't to keep you away from accident scenes, it is to prevent their use to monitor police broadcasts while committing a crime.

    Manny, the second paragraph is what allows you to have a Ham Radio in your car. As long as it only operates on frequencies designated for Amateur Radio by the FCC, it is legal to operate in your vehicle.

  11. #26
    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.
    Manny, I agree with everything that you said, and I do apply all of this myself.

    But weren't some people on these forums "detained" (to me, that's "arrested") for practicing their hobby? So either the argument of yours that I quoted doesn't work, or they were actually doing something illegal (which should therefore encourage me to stay AWAY from the various locations mentioned in the spotting guides)...

    Again, what is the ACTUAL deal?

  12. #27
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomNYC View Post
    Manny, I agree with everything that you said, and I do apply all of this myself.

    But weren't some people on these forums "detained" (to me, that's "arrested") for practicing their hobby? So either the argument of yours that I quoted doesn't work, or they were actually doing something illegal (which should therefore encourage me to stay AWAY from the various locations mentioned in the spotting guides)...

    Again, what is the ACTUAL deal?
    Yes spotters were detained but this was very long ago shortly after 9/11 when the country was still in a state of hysteria. No they weren't doing anything illegal. As for yourself you have to know what spots are public and which ones aren't. If you are asked to leave private property such as the Panera lot or Costco you really don't have much choice and once in a blue it will happen and as long as you comply and don't go back right away the spots stay viable. Again it's just using your head. The mounds are public and nothing is really stopping you from shooting there. So it's up to you how you handle it. I suggest you guys don't go there until at least 3pm. That seems to be when school is out and when the light is really suitable to shoot. This will alleviate the captain America encounters and then in June when the spot is really good for shooting you don't have to worry about the school since they are out for summer. Other alternatives would be to approach the school and say the park is public and we are breaking no laws and are not engaging in anything they need to be concerned about. Short of that you will be looking at the same cycle of getting a visit and asked to leave once in a while.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  13. #28
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    I suggest you guys don't go there until at least 3pm. That seems to be when school is out and when the light is really suitable to shoot.
    The encounter that began this thread happened on a SATURDAY. School wasn't in session...

  14. #29
    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    Thanks for your insight. I do try to use my head as much as I can!

    I do believe that some kind of exchange with the school should be in order at some point. And like I said before, maybe involve the kids in this as a way to teach them something they may not learn in the classroom.

    After all, we all are enjoying what the community gives us (free public spaces), we could maybe question ourselves as to what we give back to the community...

  15. #30
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomNYC View Post
    Thanks for your insight. I do try to use my head as much as I can!

    I do believe that some kind of exchange with the school should be in order at some point. And like I said before, maybe involve the kids in this as a way to teach them something they may not learn in the classroom.

    After all, we all are enjoying what the community gives us (free public spaces), we could maybe question ourselves as to what we give back to the community...
    Approaching the school could yield results though you would probably get further talking to NYPD. The school may or may not want to deal with it but local police will have to account for why people doing nothing wrong are being lied to about phantom laws and being asked to leave public parks. At that point they will see that simply lying to citizens to prolong a coffee break and get them out of doing their job isn't the best course for them.

    The encounter that began this thread happened on a SATURDAY. School wasn't in session...
    Which was a direct result of the previous encounter which happened WHEN SCHOOL WAS IN SESSION
    Last edited by NIKV69; 03-08-2011 at 10:47 AM.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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